Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Gentle Reminders

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On my lunch break today, I went to the library to check out some books on Stinky and Blinky's summer reading list. In the children's section, there were two exasperated Moms sitting and chatting, while three very rambunctious toddlers were running amuck. The male child was screaming different ways to kill the girls, who were working together to destroy a wooden puzzle. Most surprising though was that the children's librarian was in her office completely oblivious to the noise and destruction around her. [Not like her. At all.]

As luck would have it, the two Moms and I headed to the check-out counter around the same time. A nanosecond later, I heard the lady at the front desk mention to Mom #1 that her daughter was running up the stairs and gently suggested that she catch her before she falls and hurts herself. What she really meant was probably along the lines of, "Lady, please control your child. This is a library!"

I started to wonder about my own children at that age. I was raised super strict, which is not how the DH and I raise Stinky and Blinky. Sometimes my Mom gives me grief because they can't sit still through a three-hour church service as I was made to do, or go long distances without reaching for an electronic device. But by George, they were never allowed to run amuck in public! Sure they tried, but a pinch or a stealth spank fixed that. Most of the time.

I find I "get on" to my children a lot. I struggle to find a balance between letting them be kids and adhering to some fractionalized standard of how I was raised. I refuse to adopt the laid back parenting style I see a lot of here which allows kids do as they see fit, especially in a public setting where they may disturb others. But most of all I am conscious of the fact that I am raising two super intelligent, smart-mouthed, bi-racial children of immigrant parents, in the deep south. I want them to be shining examples, but as they are 5 and 7, that does not always work out.

At the end of the day I know I have GREAT kids. Even on the days I want to pull my hair out. Even on the days they have selective hearing and refuse to obey anything I say. Even on the days they fight ad nauseum  only to cry for each other when separated. I have great kids. Still, God places these gentle reminders in my path to remind me of that.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The days are long but the years are short.

I can hardly believe how quickly my kids are growing. Earlier in the week my daughter graduated from kindergarten, and my son had his first grade end of year awards program. Both did very well and I am so incredibly proud of them. But I can't help but wonder where the time went.

Gretchen Rubin coined the phrase, "The days are long but the years are short." Parents of young children know this all too well. A good example is getting school-aged children ready for bed. You want nothing more than them settled in to have a moment's peace, while they're stalling and working your last nerve. Then you blink and your baby has graduated kindergarten.

Parenting is not the easiest job but it is the most rewarding. In this fleeting moment, I pray for the quality time with Stinky and Blinky they crave and deserve, the patience to love and discipline with grace, and lasting sanity on the days I forget the previous two.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

ADQ Reply

A few weeks ago, I wrote about my frustration with the local DQ's poor customer service here. To my surprise, I received a letter from DQ's headquarters in Minnesota apologizing for the bad experience and a promise to investigate and provide necessary training to ensure this doesn't happen again.

I know it's probably a stock letter which they probably only updated with my name and address. But, that I received it means that someone up the chain read it, indicating there is a chance it will be addressed with the local DQ, which is gratifying.

In retrospect, I now believe I handled the situation appropriately. In the words of Edward Bulwer-Lytton, the pen is mightier than the sword. And this is the lesson I want my children to learn.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Mother's Day Part 3

I don't know how I forgot to include a picture of this card Blinky McStinky made at school for Mother's Day.


This was so sweet I nearly cried. She is such a precious child and it only takes a little to make her happy.

My darling, I love it when you play with me too.

Quote of the Week

On being told that he has to use some of his birthday money to replace his sister's lightsaber which he broke immediately after I told him not to swing it in the living room:

"Mom, can you pull this loose tooth so I can get some money from the tooth fairy?"

Obviously he doesn't realize that the tooth fairy who visits our house is on a budget. LOL!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Monday, May 11, 2015

Mother's Day 2015

This year marks the DH's and my 10th wedding anniversary! 10 years, two houses, 1 cat, two kids, 1 rabbit, numerous fish and 1 dog later, we are still as happy as can be. I thank God daily for my family and pray that he keeps us together for many more decades to come.

Years ago, the DH promised he'd take me engagement ring shopping to celebrate the big 10, and that's just what we did. Instead of waiting for our anniversary later in the year, we did it on Mother's Day. Guess he figured he knock out two celebrations in one. LOL! Check out my pretty:

 
 
Here it is paired with my wedding band:
 



I am one lucky girl!


Thursday, May 7, 2015

Quote of the Week

On his sister's new haircut:

Stinky: "Just because you have a new haircut, that does not give you the right to be sassy!"

From the mouths of babes...

The DH has been away all week at a conference. I have been exhausted. While Blinky McStinky has been freakishly cooperative, Stinky Marinky has been a little terror.

To my great surprise when I picked the kids up yesterday, Stinky had a Mother's Day card that he wanted me to open immediately. Truer words have never been spoken.




Me: "I love it!"
Stinky: "I knew you'd like that one." [devilish smirk]

Fun times.




Monday, May 4, 2015

Quote of the Week

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Enough of the serious posts already! Here's one to lighten the mood.

Yesterday, my neighbor's daughter accompanied us to baseball practice. Stinky Marinky and Blinky McStinky were constantly tattle-taling on each other and being silly.

Me: "Why don't you two stop fighting and let [friend] see you getting along?"

Stinky: "Why shouldn't we let her see how we really are?"

Well ok then.

Modeling Behavior

Yesterday after baseball practice, one of my girlfriends and I decided to take the kids for ice cream at the local DQ. Two women + four kids + ice cream = one excited bunch.

When we arrived, the place was full of bikers returning from Thunder Beach. We placed our order and found a corner booth. The kids were all giggles about practice, Minecraft and their summer plans. One of the employees quickly got the ice cream orders out and called me over to get them. As I was delivering said treats, I remember thinking this is an odd looking sundae but moved on to my rowdy bunch

A few minutes later, a very angry employee (who I assume was the Customer Service Manager) in a not-so-nice voice asks:

CSM: "Did you order a ? Blizzard?"
Me: "No."
CSM: "Well that's what you're eating."
Me: "I'm sorry. This is what the lady at the counter gave me."
CSM: "Does that look like a sundae? There's a picture right there."

I'm getting really irritated now.

Me: "Do you need me to pay the difference?"
CSM: "Yes, because that was for someone else."
Me: "Ok, but your employee gave me my order and this was in it."
CSM: "They're trying to get everyone's orders, not just yours." Slight pause. "Well, it's ok this time but next time... [voice trails off]"
Me: "Ok thank you." [Bitch!]

So I'm really bothered but trying to keep my cool and not perpetuate the angry black woman stereotype by adding fuel to the fire. I also want to be careful how I react since four little kids are watching this transpire and even asking what's going on. Then there's feeling guilty for not realizing it was a blizzard instead of a sundae. What do I know, this is literally my third time in a DQ ever. But the most infuriating part was that this employee did not even bother coming over to the table to scold me. Rather, she stood behind the trash counter behind us and shouted this out. I understand your store was busy, probably more than usual, but seriously lady, get over yourself!

I did what I thought was the right thing at the time and left it at that. My girlfriend commented about how unprofessional the employee was but I quickly changed the topic so the kids could get back to enjoying the time together. But inside I was fuming. So much so that I could not even finish the controversial blizzard.

As I think about it now, I'm still debating on whether or not I made the right choice. I strive to be the kind of parent who models good behavior for her children so that they will know how to react in similar situations. But it seems good behavior is rarely rewarded. Did I model being a pushover just to avoid confrontation? Should I be teaching my kids to stand up for themselves when they are wronged? Should I have gotten in her face and tell her that her customer service sucks? What that have accomplished anything?

Ultimately, what I have decided to do is write a letter to DQ's headquarters and cc it to the local owners. Hopefully there will be some accountability. And of course there's the decision not to patronize the local business again. I've decided that what I want to teach my children is how to fight with the pen and the dollar.